Age of Uprising: The Legend of Michael Kohlhaas ★★½

This film played at the Palm Springs film festival as Age of Uprising: the Legend of Michael Kohlhaas. I had seen Volker Schlöndorff's previous version of this story, so the outlines of the narrative were familiar to me. It takes place in a rather austere part of France in the 16th Century, where a trader/landowner (played by the indominable Mads Mikkelsen) is cheated by a spoiled young baron, and foments a peasant's revolt to right the wrongs done to him. This is totally Mikkelsen's film, with his craggy face and wind swept mane of hair, and his character's quiet rectitude. But some of the smaller roles were well cast, especially favorites of mine, David Kroll and Denis Levant as concerned clerics. The film has little dialogue and much galloping around on horseback. The wide-screen cinematography is strikingly beautiful, taking full advantage of the authenticity of the setting. It has an intimate epic feel, somewhat reminiscent of Dreyers Passion of Joan of Arc; but frankly also felt too long with subtle issues that were confusingly presented.